I wrote in my last newsletter* about some of the exciting new changes in my life: MBA, boyfriend, climbing, travel, etc. The one I didn’t mention was Tux.
This is Tuxedo, my adorable Honda HRV. To say that I’m in love with it would be an understatement. This is the first new car I’ve owned, and really the first car that I got to choose for myself, pick out everything I wanted. And it was so worth it! It’s an improvement in every way over my last car. But the feature that has changed my life the most has been the ability to play audiobooks.
I’ve resisted audiobooks for years. “I’m a visual learner; I need to see it.” “I just can’t pay attention to someone talking that long.” “My car doesn’t have an auxiliary cable.” To be honest, listening to audiobooks just didn’t fit with my vision of myself as a reader. In my mind’s eye, being a reader means curling up with a book in bed, lounging by a pool, snuggling on the sofa with a cup of tea. I take pride in owning a physical library of books. I work in publishing, for heaven’s sake.
And that’s still the reader I am. But soon I had to admit that my current busy-ness just wasn’t allowing for the same amount of reading time as I would like. I got desperate. My team at work was reading Originals by Adam Grant, and there was no way I could keep up via hard copy. “Alright,” I thought. “Just this once…” I downloaded the Audiobooks.com app and hit play. Here’s what I discovered.
Audiobooks provide a convenient way to share the love of reading.
Not long after I started listening to Originals, my boyfriend was in the car with me and said he didn’t mind if I played it. After that, I couldn’t listen to it without him! He was absolutely hooked on the content, and we paused the book every few minutes to talk about it. That was eight months ago—and we still bring up facts and interesting things we learned together.
After that, we also listened to Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari on a trip to Vegas. It was perfect for the long car ride!
Audiobooks make the car ride way more enjoyable.
I don’t have a super long commute anymore, but I still often drive to the airport (at least 1.5 hours each way…), home to my parents’ house (also about 1.5-2 hours), or just somewhere in LA for some reason.
I can handle the traffic way better when my mind is not thinking about how my back hurts from sitting so long. I would much rather be learning something new or hearing an awesome story. Now I actually look for excuses to drive.
Audiobooks help me reach my reading goals.
No, the experience of listening to an audiobook isn’t the same as reading a physical copy. I can’t highlight, underline, or scribble in the margins like I’m used to. But I still feel like I’m reading. In fact, in this blog post I’ve had to make a conscious effort to write “listening to” an audiobook rather than “reading” an audiobook.
My Goodreads goal for 2017 was to read 15 books. With the help of audiobooks, I’m already at 13! Five of those have been physical books, and eight have been audiobooks.
Audiobooks expand my horizons.
For some reason, audiobooks have been the perfect way to listen to that nonfiction book that looked interesting but I wasn’t quite willing to buy in paperback form. I’ve learned so much just from expanding into this new genre. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a perfect example. (Don’t worry, reviews coming soon!) Plus, if I tune out for a minute or get distracted by whatever’s happening on the road, I normally don’t miss much.
Audiobooks keep my bookshelves cleaner—and more meaningful.
I still buy physical copies of books I loved—and I don’t buy copies of books I don’t like. For example, I recently listened to Mindset by Carol Dweck and immediately had to buy the print copy. There were so many quotes I wanted to underline! On the opposite end, listening to Cork Dork stopped me from buying a print copy. Yes, I’m still paying money for the books. But if I don’t like them, they’re not taking up space on my bookshelf. The only books I have on my shelves are ones that bring me joy, and that I would recommend to others. I call that a win.
Are you holding out on audiobooks? I get it. But if it helps, we can read one together! I just downloaded Forces of Nature and Anne of Green Gables—read by Rachel McAdams!! Come on, you know that’s going to be good. Or, if you have another suggestion, that’s fine. Just leave a comment below!
*If you aren’t subscribed to my newsletter, please do subscribe! I treat my newsletters like we’re having coffee together—it’s more intimate and focused. Plus, I like to share links to other resources I find. Hope you’ll join soon!